MENDOCINO Co., 2/21/22 — In early December, Gina Ray Bean was sentenced to 210 days in county jail for leaving the scene of the crash that killed Calum Hunnicutt in 2019 and scheduled to turn herself in and begin her sentence Jan. 18 — but court records show that last month Judge Ann Moorman granted a motion to reinstate Bean’s bail while defense attorney Mark
Mike Kalina appeals her conviction. Bean’s surrender date was vacated, which means she remains out of custody and no new date of surrender has been set by the court.
Hunnicutt was killed around 10:45 p.m. July 18, 2019, in a hit-and-run near the town of Mendocino’s only stoplight at the intersection of State Route 1 and Little Lake Road. Court documents stipulate that the driver entered the intersection during a green light. Hunnicutt, who was riding a skateboard, entered the intersection while running a red light and struck the side of the vehicle. Hunnicutt died at the scene, and investigators ultimately found him to be at fault for the crash.
Bean was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, but subsequently charged with the lesser crime of leaving the scene of an accident. That charge stuck, and Bean was facing up to four years in prison when her case went to sentencing in Dec., 2021. In addition to the 210 days in jail, however, Moorman also sentenced Bean to 24 months of formal probation and a 12-month revocation of her driver’s license. So far public records show that Bean has credit for serving just one day in custody, presumably at the time of her arrest.
In this latest round of legal arguments appealing Bean’s conviction, Kalina claims “there are substantial issues which have a high probability of a reversal in (Bean’s) favor.” Prosecutors countered that Kalina has failed to raise a “substantial legal question” about Bean’s conviction, and described her release as a matter of judicial discretion. Ultimately the court sided with the defense, allowing the defendant to remain out of custody on $50,000 bond for the duration of her appeal.
Appellate case No. A164278 was filed with the Court of Appeals 1st Appellate District on Dec. 9, 2021. Bean’s attorneys are scheduled to submit their first brief in that case by March 21. Their arguments are not yet available for public review, but readers can follow the case here.